Cato, Rosenbaum Reunite for 25th Anniversary of Riots

Carmel Cato, whose son Gavin died after he was hit by a Chasidic Jewish driver in August of 1991, and Professor Norman Rosenbaum, whose brother was murdered in the riots that ensued, have reunited ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Crown Heights Riots to denounce violence of all forms and to discuss healing between the two communities.

From Fox 5 NY:

Carmel Cato and Professor Norman Rosenbaum haven’t seen each other in five years. But their bond goes back to August 1991 and the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn.

Cato’s 7-year-old son Gavin was killed when a station wagon came onto the sidewalk and crashed into him while he was fixing his bike. His 7-year-old cousin Angela was also hit but survived.

The accident touched off three days of riots between August 19 and August 21 by mostly African American residents angered that the driver of the station wagon was Jewish.

In the ensuing melee, Rosenbaum’s brother Yankel was murdered. He was an innocent man targeted only because he was Jewish.

Click here to continue reading at Fox 5 NY.


  • 1. orth wrote:

    there are many blacks to relate fine to the Jewish community members. It is also up to their community religious leaders. I think that is where alot of the issues are. Some of the black community do not have family support, and their religious gatherings are not inspiring them to live quality of spiritual or moral lives. This should be addressed.

  • 2. I Don't Get It wrote:

    Professor Rosenbaum, who doesn’t live in Crown Heights, is quoted as wanting to improve community relations, and then when others who do live in Crown Heights organized a program this Sunday to try and do just that he got all upset.

    • 3. Why are you surprised? wrote:

      I don’t know why you think commemorating a murder should be a food fest with music and bouncy castles. This isn’t a party – or it shouldn’t be. Have you ever lost someone close to you? I have & you can be very sure I’m not making a festival out of it. It is abhorrent & insensitive.

  • 4. Just tell the truth wrote:

    Many have expressed different views about the upcoming neighborhood festival, this Sunday. Some view it with indignation, whereas some think it’s a good idea. Whatever the case, emphasize the truth: one was a tragic accident, but the other was unjustified violence that resulted in two murders (Yankel Rosenbaum, HY”D and a bearded Italian man, who could have passed for Chassidic).

    I was living in Crown Heights when this happened.
    The blacks were alleging that we were getting preferential treatment from the police, while they were being neglected. So the accident was, as they saw it, like the proverbial “last straw that broke the camel’s back.”

    One African co-worker – she told me this: “When you need the police, you get service, but when a black calls the police, their attitude is,”Let the n…s kill each other.” Another co-worker, who made the same complaint – I told her,”Let’s say, for argument sake, that this true. Then, you should be taking it out on the police, why pick on the Jews?” She replied,”The police have guns.”

    • 5. Bearded Italian Man - Anthony Graziosi wrote:

      The bearded Italian man who was killed in connection with the violence, because he looked Jewish, was Anthony Graziosi. He should also be mentioned at the commemoration ceremonies. He was all but forgotten about by the media.

    • 6. As Written in The Jewish Star wrote:

      In all, the street violence against the Crown Heights Jews lasted three days starting with the evening of the accident. On Thursday evening, cops finally restored order, although sporadic violence against Jews continued for weeks after the riot was contained.
      Yankel Rosenbaum wasn’t the only person murdered by the rioters. Forgotten by history was the murder of Italian-American Anthony Graziosi, who was driving in Crown heights on Sept. 5. Graziosi was dragged out of his car, brutally beaten and stabbed to death because his full beard and dark clothing, causing him to be mistaken for a Hasidic Jew.

  • 7. Ignatz wrote:

    Yeah. In the middle of the riots, Pete Hamill the news reporter pointed out to a person of color that killing Yankel Rosenbaum, who was not at all involved in the incident, was horribly unfair. The answer: ” Well,man, somebody had to pay.” Right.

  • 8. Moshe Eliyahu wrote:

    Yankel’s Yartzeit is the 10th of Elul this year Monday night Sept 12 through the day of the 13th on the night of the Yartzeit or during the day at least an hour or 2 before Shkia the letters of a new Sefer Torah should be written & started with a ceremony with Music & dancing & every Lubavitch family throught the world should have a letter in this Sefer Torah & every child from the family as well, everyone should participate in this, & what better time than the 25th Yartzeit to start, it will be Yankel’s Sefer Torah & it will stay @ 770

  • 9. CR wrote:

    Nevermind the little fact that one was tragically killed in an automobile accident and the other was deliberately targeted by a hot-blooded, racist, anti-Semitic mob for murder; Gavin Cato and Yankel Rosenbaum are totally the same.

    Words defy the level of disgust at this despicable moral equivalence!

  • 10. To #6 wrote:

    Yes, it should be done @ 770. The question is how do we get this campaign started ? Does anyone know how to make this happen, it’s a “Great Idea” but there has to be a campaign & a plan, 1st thing is Norman Rosenbaum (Yankel’s brother) needs to be informed about it, & let’s here what he has to say about it, I’m sure he’ll be all for it, anyone know how to contact him ? His in Bklyn now maybe the community should approach him on this amazing idea


    if this same thing was being done with Arabs
    to mark the healing between Jews and Arabs
    what would the organizer of this event be doing ???
    she would not be happy… not one drop then why is she so callous here?


Comments are closed.